World AIDS Day provides an opportunity to remember those who lost their lives to HIV/AIDS, to educate people about the impacts and prevention of HIV infection, to celebrate our accomplishments, and to support those in the continued fight against the pandemic. Today we announce the release of a new OHESI website to commemorate World AIDS Day.
In Canada alone, more than 18,000 people have died as a result of HIV infection since 1987. Our most recent estimates for Ontario suggest that over 16,000 people diagnosed with HIV are living in the province. Recent data show that there have been vast improvements in the health and life expectancy of people living with HIV. Data for Ontario’s HIV care cascade show that an increasing percentage of people are taking antiretroviral medications and living with a suppressed viral load.
However, ongoing new HIV infections and the need to support the health of individuals living with the virus require continued dedication to the monitoring and surveillance of the epidemic in Ontario. The best possible data is needed to support strategies, programs, and partnerships to improve HIV treatment and prevention. The launch of the new OHESI website and provision of the most current available data about Ontario’s HIV epidemic will further our collective efforts to develop evidence-based policy and programming. As a collaboration of several lead HIV organizations (the AIDS Bureau at the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Public Health Ontario, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Ontario HIV Treatment Network), OHESI strives to support the vision of the HIV/AIDS Strategy to 2026 where new infections will be rare in Ontario and people with HIV will lead long, healthy lives free from stigma and discrimination.
World AIDS Day brings us together to remember those who have passed on, to share knowledge, and to support the response to HIV/AIDS. We support this event with reinvigorated optimism and a strategy for the future.
Please join the OHESI mailing list to have access to the most up to date information on HIV/AIDS in Ontario.